The UK downstream oil industry makes a significant contribution to the UK economy and everyday life, according to the 2005 Statistical Review, published by UKPIA, the trade association
representing the main oil refining and marketing companies in the UK.
The review highlights the contribution as not just the supply of transport and heating fuels, but a wide range of products that
support other industries and manufacturing, from plastics to healthcare.
Security of oil supply is a key concern for the UK however, according to the review. This applies not only to crude oil but also to the availability of refined products from refineries.
The UK will be reliant on fossil fuels well beyond 2030 and at the moment benefits from a flexible and efficient domestic refining and distribution system built up over many years that enhances our security of product supply.
The market trend is towards greater demand for diesel and jet fuel and lower demand for petrol. Alternative fuels such as natural gas and biofuels are likely to remain as niche fuels in the medium term.
However, all fuels will become cleaner with the on-going reduction in sulphur content, according to the review. The cleaner fuels have reduced emissions and enable a wide range of engine and exhaust clean-up technolgies. Expected moves towards still tighter emissions and CO2 reduction will require further investment at the refinery.